A Cappella Choir Summer School

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Interested in booking one of our courses? Call our office on 01453 759 034

Mon 05Aug
Tue 13Aug

Find your voice through singing together with repertoire covering eight centuries of music

Facilitators: Patrick Allies, Owain Park & Joseph Fort

Each day will have a different flavour and focus. We will be working roughly chronologically, beginning with music from the medieval period and running forward by approximately one century per day! You will gain from the experience of a range of tutors and course directors, all of whom are professional musicians acknowledged as experts in their field. There will be sessions on technique and style and there will be group rehearsals leading to informal performances throughout the course.

Patrick Allies – Artistic Director of Siglo de Oro
Owain Park – Director of The Gesualdo Six
Joseph Fort – Director of The Chapel Choir, King’s College London

Event time: Mon 5th Aug 2024 at 4:00pm - Tue 13th Aug 2024 at 4:00pm

“The human voice was the first instrument and remains the most powerful and effective method of musical creation and emotional transference.”

- Deke Sharon, The Heart of Vocal Harmony: Emotional Expression in Group Singing

At A Glance

Experience a cappella choral singing
Improve sight-reading ability
Increase performance skills and ensemble confidence
Expand repertoire – explore eight centuries of music

What You Will Gain

Performance confidence
Technical range
Choral repertoire knowledge
An understanding of musical style and interpretation

The Course

This course takes singers on a journey from the early medieval period through to the present day. Throughout the course you will learn how to chant like a Gregorian; you will sing medieval and renaissance sacred music along with secular songs and part songs; you’ll sing music from the high baroque and classical periods; and you’ll sing romantic and twentieth century classics. You’ll also discover music from other parts of the world. You’ll work on aspects of style and interpretation and develop your appreciation of the issues associated with performance. You’ll also have a chance to improve your technical, sight-singing and ensemble skills, and take part in a range of informal performances throughout the course.

Ticket Options

There are a variety of options available to you, so you can tailor the course to best suit your schedule and interests. Please see the section below for the course outline, more details on repertoire to follow.

Day Tickets available (9:30am – 5pm, Tues 6th – Mon 12th Aug) at £140 per day. Please email our Bookings Manager, Cathy if you wish to book a Day Ticket.


Mon 5th - Tues 13th Aug

Explore eight centuries of music over the course of nine days. An opportunity to spend time in beautiful surroundings, celebrating the breadth of A Cappella choral singing.

For more detailed repertoire, please see the timetable.

Non-Residential: £995
Residential Shared: £1,275
Residential Single: £1,475

with Patrick Allies

Mon 5th - Weds 7th Aug

Mon 5th 
Plainchant and Organum, inspired by the Feast of the Transfiguration as it might have been sung in 12th-century Rome

Tues 6th 
Sacred and Secular Medieval Music, to include pieces by Hildegard von Bingen, the Notre Dame School Guillaume de Machaut, and John Dunstable

Weds 7th 
The Madrigal, to include music by Maddalena Casulana, Luca Marenzio, Claudio Monteverdi, and John Wilbye

Non-Residential: £335
Residential Shared: £423
Residential Single: £485

with Owain Park

Thurs 8th - Fri 9th Aug

Thurs 8th Aug

Fri 9th Aug

Non-Residential: £270
Residential Shared: £340
Residential Single: £390

with Joseph Fort

Sat 10th - Tues 13th Aug

Sat 10th
Choruses from Haydn’s Creation. Haydn’s Creation is surely one of the great compositional masterpieces of the eighteenth century, which has enjoyed continuous popularity ever since its composition in 1798.

Sun 11th
Brahms’ German Requiem. Brahms sought to break the mould with this piece, exploring through it music’s capacity to act as a real agent for healing and comfort.

Mon 12th 
Holst’s Cloud Messenger. Combining rich harmonies with lyrical melodies, this piece makes for an extremely enjoyable sing. What better time to discover Holst’s choral masterpiece than in his 150th anniversary year?

Tues 13th 
Kerensa Briggs’ Inner Light and Kristina Arakelyan’s Te Lucis Ante Terminum. These beautiful pieces were both composed in the 2020s and give a sense of the fresh directions in which choral composition is now travelling. 

Non-Residential: £426
Residential Shared: £541
Residential Single: £623


Hawkwood is a stunning Grade II listed 19th Century country house, surrounded by 42 acres of sustainably managed woodland, farmland, and gardens. Set in the heart of the Cotswolds – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – it is a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. With a diverse selection of nearly 150 courses, there’s plenty to choose from, including courses in transformative leadership, future thinking, inner life, music and the arts. Our programme of courses is led by experienced tutors and leaders in their fields.

What Is Included

Both residential and non-residential rates are available. Residential options are fully inclusive with all meals provided. Non-residential options include suppers, lunches and all refreshments and exclude B&B.

Additional Activities

Mindful walking through our woodland trails
Meditate in our Woodland Sanctuary
Go on a hike and explore the Cotswolds AONB
Discover surrounding charming market towns


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Block One Non-Residential Deposit
£ 200.00
33 available
Block One Single Deposit
£ 200.00
33 available
Block Two Non-Residential Deposit
£ 100.00
33 available
Block Two Residential Single Deposit
£ 100.00
33 available
Block Three Non-Residential Deposit
£ 250.00
33 available
Block Three Residential Single Deposit
£ 250.00
33 available
The Full Eight Centuries Non-Residential Deposit
£ 400.00
33 available
The Full Eight Centuries Residential Single Deposit
£ 400.00
33 available

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Patrick Allies

Patrick Allies is Artistic Director of Siglo de Oro. He began his musical education as a chorister at the Temple Church in London, under Stephen Layton. He sang in Gloucester Cathedral Choir before taking up a Choral Scholarship to study Music at King’s College London, graduating in 2010 with First Class Honours. Patrick went on to postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge where he sang in Jesus College Choir. Patrick is currently a PhD student in Music at the University of Oxford.

While at university, Patrick founded Siglo de Oro, a choir that performs both renaissance and contemporary music. In 2014 the group made its professional debut at the Spitalfields Festival, of which The Financial Times said: ‘Siglo de Oro, under the assured direction of Patrick Allies, performed with vivacity and poise.’ Since then, the group has performed at the Barber Institute, the Holy Week and Christmas Festivals at St John’s Smith Square, and made regular appearances on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune.

Under Patrick's direction, Siglo de Oro has made four acclaimed recordings with Delphian Records. Gramophone described the first disc, which included eight new commissions for choir and saxophone, as 'so invigorating... this one hits you with its character and depth'. The second featured the world premiere of a late-Renaissance mass by Hieronymus Praetorius. BBC Music Magazine made it Choral and Song Album of the Month, and said: 'here is a choir in which all the elements are held in perfect equilibrium. Patrick Allies ponders every note before moulding lines whose suppleness in turn coalesce into a living breathing whole'.

Patrick is in demand as workshop leader, in particular on the subject of the performance of Renaissance polyphony, and has taken up invitations to give sessions for the Thames Valley, Eastern, Midlands and South-West Early Music Forums. He also works regularly as a writer on music, producing programme notes for the Gabrieli Consort and St John's Smith Square.

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Owain Park

Owain Park is Director of The Gesualdo Six and Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers. He was born in Bristol, UK in 1993. His compositions are published by Novello, and have been performed internationally by ensembles including the Tallis Scholars and the Aurora Orchestra.
As a conductor, he maintains a busy schedule of projects with ensembles including the BBC Singers, the Academy of Ancient Music, London Mozart Players, Cappella Cracoviensis, and Cambridge Chorale. His own vocal consort, The Gesualdo Six, tour extensively around the world and have been lauded for their interpretation of renaissance and contemporary music.
Owain is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO), and was awarded the Dixon Prize for improvisation, having been Senior Organ Scholar at Wells Cathedral and Trinity College Cambridge. He holds a Masters degree in composition and regularly appears as a singer with ensembles including Tenebrae, Gabrieli Consort, The Sixteen and Polyphony.

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Joseph Fort

Joseph Fort is a conductor and musicologist based in London. He is College Organist & Director of the Chapel Choir, and Lecturer in Music at King’s College London. He took up this role in 2015, upon completing his PhD at Harvard University. His performances with the Choir of King’s College London have been recognised as ‘English choral singing at its best’ (Choir & Organ) and ‘a performance of astonishing intensity and musicality’ (Gramophone).
In 2021 he was appointed Director of Music at St Paul’s, Knightsbridge, where he conducts the acclaimed professional choir, and in the same year he was made Artistic Director of the Cowbridge Music Festival. He is known for his innovative and creative programming, and his track record of eclectic commissions ranges from canticles to large-scale works for choir and electric guitar. In 2023 he conducts six premieres of new works by emerging composers for the Choir & Organ New Music Series, and his recently launched ‘School Song Project’ works with young composers to inspire a culture of singing in primary schools.
Recent orchestral conducting includes Britten Sinfonia, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Hanover Band and the London Mozart Players. Festival conducting appearances across the world include the Festival de México, the White Nights Festival of St. Petersburg, the Montreal Organ Festival, the London Handel Festival, the St Albans International Organ Festival, and the conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Royal Canadian College of Organists. He served on the Artistic Committee for the 2022 China International Chorus Festival, and has made multiple visits to Nigeria to coach choirs and choral directors there.
Joseph’s expansive discography with Delphian Records has received considerable critical acclaim, including Editor’s Choice and the ‘best new classical albums’ lists in Gramophone. 2023 sees three new releases—Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, to mark the composer’s 150th anniversary, the premiere recording of Kerensa Briggs’s new Requiem, and a complete disc of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s partsongs, many of which are unpublished and unrecorded. He broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 3, and in 2021 and 2022 he conducted the Prince’s Foundation Carol Concert on Classic FM.
Joseph is also known for his expertise as an arranger and editor, and his chamber arrangement of The Cloud Messenger by Gustav Holst is credited with causing a recent resurgence of performances of that work, both in the UK and overseas. He will conduct the English Chamber Orchestra in the premiere of his new arrangement of The Choral Symphony as part of the #Holst150 celebrations in 2024.
Joseph holds a PhD from Harvard University, and his academic research focuses on eighteenth-century music and dance. He is currently completing a monograph on Haydn and minuets. He has published in the Eighteenth-Century Music journal, and has chapters in books with Cambridge University Press and Leipzig University Press. Prior to Harvard, he studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was the organ scholar, and at the Royal Academy of Music, who in 2017 elected him to their Associateship.

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